Monday, January 30, 2017

Week In Review: H P B 45s, John Wetton

Tad has been keeping very busy with some really bad prog rock (as he says) and for somebody who was going to cut back, here's the 11th installment of the Record World Blog and Half Price Books had a few of them. For finding 45s this month I have been lucky to find some good stuff.  However, we take the good with the bad and I'm sure that some of these gems will be donated back somewhere. Since Tad was gracious enough to include this link, I thought I return the favor on his latest of reviewing really bad prog rock.  In terms of theory, I could never get much into the Strawbs and the only Kayak I ever heard was Royal Bed Bouncer.  Out of all the Tull albums, I never did buy Aqualung.  I just didn't feel the need to buy it, although if I find a cheap copy somewhere then I might.

The Artisan Sanctuary is moving from their Czech Village quarters (Used to be the Salvation Army site) to downtown Marion next to Campbell Steele. Jim Jacobmeyer says that the new place has a bigger stage and a basement and more potential to help out the starving artist and upcoming bands. 

I finished January with the second highest views, under 8800, a drop from the big December 12,000 views. The top six blog stories came from last month.  That causes a red flag and perhaps examples of Blogspot inflating the stats. First time ever I averaged 200 views a day ever, for the past thirty days.  If your not a robot or spambot and actually read these blogs, I thank you.  And thank you Tad for your comments.

Bobby Freeman, who was the main piano player in the Capitol era Johnny Otis Show and of course best known for Do You Wanna Dance and Cmon And Swim passed away on Jan 28.  He was 76 years old.  My first known single from Bobby was Sinbad.

Deke Leonard, guitarist for Man passed away on Wednesday.  He was 72.

From Robert Christgau
Neil Young:  Peace Trail (Reprise) Anything but "predictable," these political ditties rank among the strangest songs of his career, as in "Hope that was confusing, looking like a bright light/Blinding you forever with its power" ("My Pledge," "Glass Accident") *** B+

Singles Going Steady Medley-Half Price Books 45s  Or continuing to hoard 45s with a wide variety of styles.

1)  Stand By Your Man-The Mirettes  (UNI 55110) 1969

They popped on the charts with a version of In The Midnight Hour (#45 in 1968) but somebody decided that the time was right to do a soul version of the Tammy Wynette hit.  I think Clarence Paul (best known for being a Motown Arranger) is behind most of the arrangements  I'm not a fan of the don't yell at me soul singer on this song, which isn't out of line like The Emotions Best Of My Love.  Turns out that nobody needed a soul version of this song.  45 Cat mentioned it was a promo only but my copy is a stock version, with a drill hole indicating a cut out 45.  B Side If Everybody Help Somebody is a throwaway too.  Uni would issue three more singles before cutting them loose. Vendetta Fields might have been the lead vocalist.

2)   It Is No Secret-Red Foley And The Andrews Sisters (Decca Faith Series 9-14566) 1951

Red Foley was one of the early country music greats, The Andrews Sisters were big pop stars of the 1940s and Decca paired them up on this gospel number.  Back then you can always tell it was a gospel number when a hammond organ would start the whole thing off.  Decca in 1949 started up the Faith Series with Bing Crosby with What A Friend We Had In Jesus but by 1953 they pulled the plug and any gospel number would be on the Decca label.  Basically a who's who of artists recorded for the Faith Series, The Jordanaires, Anita Kerr Singers, even boxer Jersey Joe Walcott did a single of inspiration songs.
Still, there's really not a lot of interest of songs like these anymore, unless you're interested to hear what you're grandparents may have been listening to on a Sunday Morning.   That is if they had record players.

3)  It's All Over Now-Charlie Rich (RCA PB-10256)  1975

Recorded in 1964 as RCA 8478, but RCA trying to capitalize on Rich's success with Behind Closed Doors emptied the vaults in search of a hit and came up with more misses though.  It's All Over Now was the B side to There' Won't Be Anymore.  Rich went to RCA after his tenure with Phillips International and they stuck him on the Groove subsidy label.  The 1963-1965 sessions would have later hits in the 1970s for RCA, My Mountain Dew was a country top ten hit in 1977.  Out of all the Chet Atkins produced stars, Rich was by more the most R and B sounding of them all, even to the point that he recorded for Hi Records before signing with Epic and hanging on for another five years before his massive number 1 hit Behind Closed Doors.   I tend to favor Rich's R and B more than the bedroom ballad of Behind Closed Doors.

4)  Give It To The People-The Righteous Brothers (Haven 7004)  #20 1974

Followup to the number 3 Rock And Roll Heaven in the comeback year of 1974, it would be a short-lived comeback.  After hanging with Phil Spector long enough to compile Spector soundalikes, The Righteous Brothers would hit a dry spell before the production team of Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter signed them to their Haven/Capitol label for a trio of top 40 singles, the last being Dream On (later covered by the Oak Ridge Boys).  This song is typical Lambert/Potter, urgent verses, over the top chorus with some sort of preaching cliche.  B side Love Is Not A Dirty Word, continues the peace and love stuff but the chorus is half assed.  Might have been a hit single had Lambert and Potter worked a bit more harder on this song.  After that, The Righteous Brothers would remake Unchained Melody, which would hit the top 40 twice  (the original #13, the remake #19 in 1990, due to the popularity of it being used in the movie Ghost.

5)  Somebody's Been Beatin'  My Time-Eddy Arnold (RCA Victor 47-4273)  1951

I guess Heart Strings was the hit but I prefer this yodeling uptempo number from the Tennessee Plowboy.  In 1949 he did the first version of The Cattle Call, his theme song till he went for the MOR country sound, somewhat like Ray Price did when Ray did Danny Boy after years of honky tonkin.   But on Somebody's....he shows off a Hank Sr type of honky tonk.

6)  Straight Shootin Woman-Steppenwolf (Mums ZS8-6031)  #29 1974

The last time Steppenwolf would make the top 30.  Back in the 60s and 70s, they and their label mates 3 Dog Night would chart single after single but in 1972 Steppenwolf broke up, only to reunite a scant year and half later and signed with Epic Records which assigned them to the Mums label.  While critics tend to be harsh on their albums I did like Slow Flux, or most of it anyway, they did have three singles taken off the album and showed enough buyer interest that they were promoted to Epic for two forgettable albums, The Hour Of The Wolf and Skullduggery, the latter with a cool funky number written by Bobby Cochran.  But John Kay has never been much of a songwriter himself, his protest songs tend to lose focus as evidenced by B side Justice Don't Be Slow.  Straight Shooting Woman is a 3 minute hatchet job of the album track.   Thus proving that sometimes buying singles are not dollar wise but penny foolish.  Not a hatchet job as say Maggie by Redbone or Green Grass And High Tides but The Outlaws, but you'll notice the difference if you buy Slow Flux or Steppenwolf All Time Greatest Hits, to which MCA did throw a few dollars at Sony Music for the use of Straight Shooting Woman.   After the failure of Skullduggery, Epic cherry picked the best (and worst) of the songs for something called Reborn To Be Wild, to which not surprisingly has not been reissued on CD as of late.  But I did have the 8 track to that best of.  John Kay would reform Steppenwolf with hired hands and even less interesting albums.  Better to stick with Born To Be Wild I gather.

Sad note:  John Wetton, bass player for the likes of Asia, King Crimson, UK, Uriah Heep has died from colon cancer, he was 67.  Some tributes are now shared from his friends and bandmates.


“With the passing of my good friend and musical collaborator, John Wetton, the world loses yet another musical giant. John was a gentle person who created some of the most lasting melodies and lyrics in modern popular music. As a musician, he was both brave and innovative, with a voice that took the music of ASIA to the top of the charts around the world. His ability to triumph over alcohol abuse made him an inspiration to many who have also fought that battle. For those of us who knew him and worked with him, his valiant struggle against cancer was a further inspiration. I will miss his talent, his sense of humor and his infectious smile. May you ride easy, my old friend.
Carl Palmer.
Jan.31, 2017.”

 Very sad to hear about the death of my good friend and fellow musical explorer John Wetton. We had so many fun times together its difficult to comprehend that he wont be around to share our experiences. His extraordinary talent as bass player, singer and composer was a wonder to behold .it was a joy and privilege to know him. We will all miss him. RIP.  Phil Manzenera


"It is with great sadness and a heavy heart, that I have to report we have lost my dearest friend, brother, bandmate and long term musical collaborator, John Wetton, who has passed away after a long and tenacious battle with cancer. He will be remembered as one of the world’s finest musical talents, and I for one of many was wholly blessed by his influence. It was a massive privilege for me to have worked with this genius so closely on our numerous projects together over the years. His bass playing was revolutionary. His voice was from the gods. His compositions - out of this world. His sense of melody and harmony - unreal. He was literally a 'special one'.

But John was much more than a gigantic and unique musical talent. He was a supremely intelligent man, marked with his great observations and wisdom about life; all couched within his wicked sense of humour. The wit was dark and deep, only fully perceptible to those on his same wavelength. I was fortunate enough to be able to be on that wavelength, and discover that we had much in common. Many of his personal life experiences were reflected in his lyrical contributions to the songs. His heart was always in the music. That was John, through and through. It was always about - the music.
As a person, he was fiercely loyal, loving and generous, particularly to those he cared about. But he could be as stubborn as a mule or as gracious as a nobleman, depending on the mood that grabbed him on any particular day. There were some who couldn't read his brilliant mind and complex personality. Some found him charming, others infuriating. But however you found John, there was no denying his rare talent as a musician and songwriter was second to none.

Both of us having been brought up with similar backgrounds in provincial England, we shared a love of many things - sport, and in particular - football, English church music, current affairs, comedy, literature, you name it....pretty much everything that 2 kids from the sticks were exposed to in our youth.

Our planets seemed to be immediately in alignment when we first met in early 1981. There was a laddish camaraderie that grew between us as we became as close as two non-related brothers could be. He was an avid reader and film enthusiast, something he pursued with great interest. This helped inspire him to some wonderful lyrics to the literally hundreds of songs we composed together. Back then, we immediately hit the ground running as we composed much of the debut ASIA album together and forged a formidable partnership which lasted right up until now. It was a wholly natural process for us, whereby we could knock out 2 or 3 songs in an afternoon. They were always greeted with our gentlemanly handshake and smiles once we had wrapped up another one in the bag.
Above all else though, his passion for life was to the fore. The battles he endured throughout were immense and well documented. Firstly with alcohol, which he so resolutely overcame, then open heart surgery and finally cancer, which sadly was to take his life in the end. He once observed to me that this disease is a "merciless assassin". Just another example of his perception and the descriptive language that he was so richly blessed with. He took all of these battles on board with great bravery and almost a 'laissez-faire' attitude, tinged with his inimitable wry wit.

To say I will miss my him greatly is beyond understatement. He was such an inspiration to me. We were planning another album, but sadly he was not well enough to complete it. I feel heartbroken about this, as I knew John thought it was to be one of our finest albums to date. I remain as proud as ever of our Wetton/Downes writing partnership. I am hoping one day that I will be able to finish it, and that it will be appreciated by all those who loved his and our music, and most importantly, a legacy he would have been proud of.

Life will not be the same without him. And words are not really enough to describe the loss I feel right now, and the many friends and fans all over the World will also be feeling. It is the end of an era for all of us. But we will soldier on - the music of John Wetton needs to be heard loud and clear from the rooftops.

Dearest John, may you rest in peace brother.


Please join me in sending our sincerest thoughts and prayers to Lisa, Dylan and the entire Wetton family at this difficult time

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Week Of Reviews: Herb Jeffiries Couchois

It's been a whirlwind of things going on and Death never takes a day off.  Case in point a lot of known folks moved into the great beyond.  Butch Trucks, the drummer for Allman Brothers shot himself in front of his wife on Tuesday, He was 69.  Dr. Percy Harris, one of the best doctors in town died Wednesday, he was 89.  He had 12 children of his own, including Peter Harris, who was in Bruce Hornsby And The Range for a couple albums.  Mary Tyler Moore died Thursday, she was 80.  Hard to believe that Dick Van Dyke would outlive her.  John Hurt past away as well, he was 77. And while getting the rest of Perry Mason Season One volume 2, I come to find out that Barbara Hale passed away, she was 94.  Della Street is now with the rest of the gang.  Perry Mason remains one of my top five all time best TV shows.  And Geoff Nichols, who played keyboards with Black Sabbath from 1979 to 1996 died from lung cancer at age 68.

I heard from Starman for the first time in many a year as he sent me a CD called Earth Primitive and Deadly from somebody named Dylan Carlson. Primitive And Deadly was released in 2014 and does show a drone line doom metal that owes a lot to The Melvins. It is an album not for everybody and after the first song I had enough to listen to. I will try to listen to it under less strenuous situations and not listening to it going to work.  If you're reading this Starman, it is to acknowledged that I received it and hope you're doing well.  We need to catch up soon.  

So far January has no decent new music for me to listen to unless I want to hear the new Train album, which I really don't want to.  And what's the point of going to Best Buy anymore?  Or K Mart who continues to close their stores.  I have better interaction going to funerals than K Mart.  Moline doesn't even have a CD section anymore.  But I am still finding a few decent CDs in the dollar bins in town.  Such as.

Herb Jeffries-The Bronze Buckaroo Rides Again (Warner Western 1995)

Herb was ancient when he recorded this cd in 1995 at the age of 80.  Recorded on the short lived Warner Western label (Warner Brothers had a bright idea of starting up a label dedicated to the likes of Roy Rogers, The Sons Of The Pioneers  Michael Martin Murphy, a label dedicated to cowboy music), Herb was paired up with the likes of Little Texas when Little Texas was making hits on the radio, Take 6 for shock value, The Mills Brothers ditto, as well as Warner Western labelmates like Micheal Martin Murphy, Sons Of The San Joaquin and Rex Allen Jr.  Herb was a credible jazz singer of the 40s and 50s but also could do pop country western in the style of Ray Price or Dean Martin.  The record isn't very long, it barely goes past 28 minutes but Jeffries even at age 80 could phase a song quite well although he won't make you forget Tennessee Ernie Ford on Cow Cow Boogie and perhaps Jim Ed Norman could have given Herb a Willie Nelson song such as Night Life or something from Ray Price as well.  Still songs like 900 Hundred Miles or Lonesome Rider Blues makes this record a nice effort, the 90s canned production tends to date this album but even in 1995 Herb was truly the last of the singing cowboys.  And he took his craft very seriously too
Grade B+

Couchois-(Warner Brothers/Wounded Bird 1979)

The last of the decent Wounded Bird cut outs at Half Price Books find myself listening to a band that spent a lot of time on the harmonies, in fact the Couchois Brothers Pat and Mike had nice ones to lead singer and other brother Chris.  In fact it does sound a bit like the Little River Band.  Side 1 does move quite like soft rock with the catchy Do It In Darkness and Going To The Races and I think they try for a progressive pop sound on the opener on Side 2 Devil's Triangle but comes across a bit too nice and Kalahari Cattle Drive is just plain weird.   The pop side is provided by Steve Barri (Tommy Roe, The Grassroots) and Eddie Lambert (no relation to Dennis of Lambert and Potter fame).  If you like your music like Little River Band crossed with Orleans, Couchois would be your album.  Not exactly a memorable album but it's harmless fun.  Worth a couple listens.
Grade B

Marvin Sense-20th Century Masters (Mercury 2001)

About 1990 thereabouts, there was a co worker named Teri that dropped off a copy of Marvin's first album and on a certain song called Candy Licker wanted me to take part in this song with her.  Which would have been fun I suppose.  Sense came from the latter day soul singers, who his influences may have been Tyrone Davis and Barry White but with a bit of Johnny Guitar Watson thrown in.  He recorded a few albums for London/Mercury to which Universal cherrypicked the songs that made Sense what he was back then.  I have no qualms about Candy Licker but 9 and half minutes of it tends to bore me and so does the fake orgasmic woman in the background.  I doubt in real life she would have came and came like she did on this song.  The rest of the albums tends to repeat the formula (I Ate You For Breakfast, Motel Lover) and the advantages of trying to love two women and not get caught (Stuck In The Middle) but the problem is that the songs go on way too long and Marvin doesn't know when to fade it out.   Even Funky Christmas goes on about 2 minutes too long. Jim Stewart would have chopped most of these songs down half way.  Before rap overtook the R and B scene Marvin Sense didn't fall for rapping and was the throwback to Tyrone or Barry, and that's good.  Unlike Tyrone or Barry, Marvin tended to take his time a bit too much.  I still have good memories of Teri and I'm sure she did find a volunteer to do some candy licking.   As for me, I was more into rock and roll and the bedsheet rumble myself.
Grade B-

From Mark Prindle:

 Johnny Cash - At San Quentin - This is the 2000 CD reissue of the classic 1969 release, which has a different track order and eight additional songs. Good god, is this great stuff! Not only do you get many of Johnny's best songs ("Ring of Fire," "Folsom Prison Blues," "Big River," "Daddy Sang Bass," "I Walk the Line," "A Boy Named Sue"), but you get the fun of him playing up to the prisoners, acting like a tough guy who doesn't give a shit what the guards think. He's funny! Good jokin', good playin', crazy prisoners cheering at the anti-prison lyrics -- a must-own!

 Ozzy Osbourne - Black Rain - I'm an Ozzy fan by trade, but this 2007 album stinks to High Hell. Aside from the final song (which I quite like), it doesn't have any memorable riffs or melodies on it at all! Just macho nu-metal three-chord garbage with Ozzy sort of speak-singing over it. I guess he's trying to sound tough and modern. Or maybe he was just 57 years old when they recorded it.

King Crimson - Live at the Orpheum - From the 2014 tour, featuring "One More Red Nightmare," "Starless" and a few other oldies. It's great! Rest in piece, John Wetton (even though you weren't on this album).

Flamin' Groovies - Shake Some Action - I find it very difficult to believe that this 1976 album wasn't recorded in the mid '60s. This is British Invasion music, plain and simple. The style, the songwriting, the vocals, even the production! I guess it doesn't hurt that almost half the songs are cover tunes from that era (or earlier). This is a very nice listen for any fan of 1965-66 rock singles.

Failure - Fantastic Planet - 1996 CD by L.A. alternative/grunge band. The singer sounds like one of the Alice in Chains guys mixed with Kurt Cobain, and the music is driven by power chords, but the songs are often slow and not always distorted. They're also often morose rather than hooky and explosive. I have to admit that I like an awful lot of these songs, but this radio-ready alt-grunge sound just reminds me that I once gave Everclear a 10/10, so let's forget I listened to it.

Fairport Convention - Liege & Lief (Deluxe Edition) - Excellent 1969 folk-rock album by the British band featuring Richard Thompson and Sandy Denny. Very much rooted in traditional British folk - dark, moody, well-played and sung. The bonus disc features some BBC sessions and non-LP tracks. It's alright, but not necessary (although it's pretty funny to get through 90 minutes of serious folk music only to get to a cornball cover of "The Lady is a Tramp)." You're fine just buying the original album.

Elvis Costello - When I Was Cruel - This 2002 album starts off with two songs I don't like it all, but once it gets going there's some very good songs here. Some stinkers too though. That's my opinion and I stand by it. "Some of it's good; some isn't." - Mark Prindle

Emitt Rhodes - S/T - This 1970 album sounds like a post-"All Things Must Pass" George Harrison album without the religious crap. Emitt has a similar voice, stinging guitar tone and "just okay" songwriting style. Some of the songs also have that Paul McCartney 'bouncy piano' thing going on. Nothing bad on here, but nothing too exciting here. If you like George, try Emitt.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

And Now A Few Words About Turning 56

Another year older.

I turn 56 Tuesday.  Warren Zevon Turned 56 in 2003 and died of cancer later on.  He would have been 70 today.

The weather was shitty, it's been cloudy all this month and today was no different.  It sleeted on the way home from work.  I usually take the day off and go bargain hunting but since Mom postponed our lunch, I basically stayed home and played some Townedgers and my own music.

Sonya at work was kind enough to bring me a birthday cake to work.  Plus I had plenty of birthday wishes from abroad.  Plus I chatted with Brooksie off and on.  I love Sonya to pieces, I have known her for 20 years at work and seen her and her hubby Jason be a part of this life.  Brooksie is special to me, for 15 years we talk tunes and somehow kept in touch when the regular chatters at the Roost moved on to other things.   There's always hope we can get together somewhere down the road and hit some of the music places in Washington DC town.  And perhaps a record store or two although Borders is now a thing of the past.

I am getting up in years, to the point that I lost friends along the way in their 50s, Bruce was 57, and Warren Zevon was 56 as I mentioned before.  Although I am having a second life on stage, I do realize that I'm in the golden years of my life and each day could be the last.   It hasn't hit on me but to see my friends I grew up with, now bald and gray and grand kids makes me wonder where did the time go.   I am winding down, knowing after playing for a couple hours on stage, I need to go take a half hour nap to recover.  Or the constant aches and pains, yes I'm still got a 18 year old mindset but my body feels like 72 and somehow I feel those 56 years of being here.  I have a friend that is battling lung cancer and we're doing a benefit tomorrow for him.  He's getting his head shaved and he's going to give his best shot to beat cancer.  I pray that he does well.  I do not want to lose any more friends, but I'm sure that will continue.  For we are now getting old to the point that we are no longer younger and that time has continued onward without stopping at all.

Have I taken life for granted?  Was I continue to be blind of all the changes to me and my friends as they moved from music collecting to starting a family and career jobs, while I never strayed far from the local record store or thrift place full of scratchy records?   I can look at certain points of history and certain girls that did come in at those times that things could have changed, and watching a certain woman that was in my college class that liked me enough to smile at me at Kittys and when I sat there and did nothing, slowly leaving the place with her friend, crying that I didn't come over and say hi and disappointed in the outcome.  And I wished for a chance to see her and explain that I too shy the next time I see her.  Which never did happened and never will.  She'll never know it but I really was flattered that she did care.  Hardly anybody ever did back then.

For 56 times around the sun, my life was derailed by music and records, more so than going steady with anybody in high school.  Somewhere in the parallel world, the woman from my college class who be my soul mate as we make our way around the world buying records and CDs and spending copious amount of time playing them on the player, perhaps playing in a band together.  Or having our daughters playing guitar and singing songs at CSPS in town.  Or having a son being the next John Bonham or Keith Moon on drums.   I know it's a far fetched dream that will never come true, but I suppose if I had to do it all over again, I'd probably make the same fucking mistakes all over again and come to this stage of life anyway.

The trick is to see if I can be here another year but in reality I think I'd live my life the best way possible and hopefully if the time comes to pass on, then to turn on the record player and put on a Love Forever Changes and take a nap that takes me out of this world and into the next world, where souls live forever and never grow old and continue to seek out new music.

I think I have achieved what I set out to do in this life anyway.  It didn't make me a rock and roll star or rich and famous, but I did managed to get a nice music collection of records and a nice output of my own music.

My Birthday wasn't much.  But for those who wished me happy birthday remained the truest of friends.

And I love them all.

On Tuesday, we lost Percy Harris, one of my doctors back in the 70s.  He was 89.
And then Butch Trucks has died as well. The drummer for the Allman Brothers Band. He was 69.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Waterloo 45's and CD Reviews.

For the second straight week, I managed to find more 45s than actual CDs.  Something like six 45s to 2 CDs.  Basically I was bored, the temps were around 40 degrees and had a hunch that I might find something of value.  The usually reliable St Vincent De Paul didn't have much of 45s, the usual ones that have been in poor shape and probably be a permanent fixture along with all the crappy LPs and CDs that nobody wants.  I'm not going to complain about the dollar CDs that I did find.  If they suck, at least I got a jewel case in the process.

Like Davenport, the Waterloo hunt was a hit and miss. Along the way on a Saturday Night I noticed that the Lone Star Restaurant closed their doors, just like the one in Cedar Rapids last month.  And that going to Cedar Falls, they have replaced about 4 stop lights on University Ave in favor of those fucking roundabouts, which is like taking your life into your own hands when you come across them.  Thankfully I had two other cars going the same way I was going.  That pretty much got me to Blair's Farm And Fleet to pick up some jeans for my picky dad who likes a certain kind of jeans and not prewashed.   It also got me to stop at the Waterloo K Mart for their close outs and managed to get some of my own at 40 percent off.  Even while looking for music, I'm still doing my shopping and combining all my trips into one.  I still haven't located Mohair Pear, the Cedar Falls record store and basically limited my searches to the thrift stores.  But the thrift stores and pawn shops yielded nothing of value and it's a shame that the St Vince De Paul 45s were all chewed up.  However I did noticed another bargain hunter that managed to find a couple of 45s (A Ray Price For The Good Times was one of them he bought).  There was a okay copy of The Bee Gees Idea but I didn't pick it up.  The guy may have picked up the 45's I left aside but I didn't see the need to fight him over them. The shape wasn't all that great.

The Goodwill University Avenue Store was where I found all of the 45s worth saving and even had to contend with some preppy looking woman eyeballing a Jack Jones LP but what they had for LPs was total shit.  So it wasn't a wasted effort and I do think that these 45s are a lot more rock and roll than the Davenport finds of last weekend.   And no disco records masquerading as rock and roll either.  I could have probably picked up a couple more to round it off at 10 records but in all fairness they were trashed (Elvis Presley Stuck On You, The Who Magic Bus, Rick Nelson, For You and Brenda Lee I Want To Be Wanted the best known of the ones that were deemed unplayable).  So, here's the pick six singles of the batch.

1)    Next Door To An Angel-Neil Sedaka  (RCA 47-8086)  #5  1962

I know this record was part of the early years of my life but can't recall if it came from my Mom's original record collection or if Mom bought it during the formative years.  Sedaka was one of those teen idols I could take or leave although not as odious as say Paul Anka.  This came after the number 1 showing of the first version of Breaking Up Is Hard To Do (Sedaka would do a slower version of Breaking...that made it to number 8 in 1975).  Next Door To An Angel, was played a few times growing up in Lincoln in the early 60s for myself.   And while this record is sleeveless, it plays pretty good.

2)   Hail To The Conquering Hero-James Darren (Colpix CP-655)  #97  1962

Howard Greenfield, who co wrote Next Door To An Angel with Neil Sedaka, co wrote this little known single from Darren that blinked at number 97 for one week before going south.  The introduction sounds a bit like what The Vagrants would use for their version of Respect a few years later although they might think otherwise.

3)   Rock And Roll Is Here To Stay-Danny And The Juniors (ABC Paramount 45-9888) #19 1958

One of the cornerstones of my formative years of growing up and listening to 45s, was the one two punch of At The Hop and the followup, to which was used quite nicely in the Stephen King movie Christine, about a demotic car with a love of golden age rock and roll and doo wop. Motown swiped a few chestnuts on the soundtrack.  They might have started punk rock with the driving beat or least garage rock (along with I've Had It by the Bell Notes, another single from my mom's collection) but the B Side School Boy Romance is bobby soxer slow dance material.  Nevertheless this song is a cornerstone for myself and it's finally nice to find a decent copy although the label needs to be superglued back into place.  I seem to recall repairing another ABC Paramount single that the label fell off when I found it at a thrift store last year.

4)   You Belong To Me-The Duprees (Coed CO-569)  #7  1962

Latter day doo wop of the 1960s was a passing fad but once in a while there would be a cool cover of a old pop classic, such as this cover of the Jo Stafford song.  This song did fit in on one of those American Graffiti compilation albums that MCA put out in the early 70s to cash in on that movie.  It did generate a fond remembering of the golden age of rock and roll and doo wop.

5)   Till Then-The Classics (Musicnote MX-1116)  #20  1963

This Brooklyn based Doo Wop group recorded for a handful of labels and this was their first single release on the Musicnote label.  Their best known and one of the all time great doo wop numbers, even though it came in 1963 to which by then Doo Wop was a thing of the past.   Till Then still remains a timeless classic.

6)  Respectable-The Chants  (MGM K-13008)  1961

There's never a shortage of forgotten songs, or songs that only bubbled under.  Originally TRU EKO TE-3567 before MGM picked it up for distribution.  Later a faster version popped up on 20th Century Fox under the banner of Jimmy Soul And The Chants (20th Century Fox 413) but to these ears it doesn't sound like Jimmy Soul singing.  The guess is that the 20th Century Fox is an alternative version of the 1961 Tru Eko/MGM single.  You be the judge:
20th Century Fox version:
MGM Version:

The 2 CDs reviewed:

Beck And Sanborn (CTI 1975)
He's Joe Beck, the fusion jazz guitar player and he's David Sanborn who has gone on to make background music for The Weather Channel.  I guess this was typical of the fusion jazz of the 1970s, adding Don Gronlick's Richard Tee like keyboards and a nice rhythm section with Will Lee and Chris Parker.  I don't mind Beck when he decides to rock it out on guitar but Sanborn is a whole bit annoying, going for a sax solo that may have ushered in the era of Kenny G. The bonus tracks Ain't It Good does have a decent Lee bass groove before Sanborn's squawks makes it hard to make it through.
Grade C

The Outside-Antibody (2001)

Among the garbage of CDs at St Vincent De Paul was about 50 CDs of this album by a now defunct Cedar Falls band and basically amounts of a free CD to go with the jewel case.  In some ways, The Outside managed to put some time and money into this cd and did their damnest to get their music heard.  On the outside they balanced between Killing Joke/Marlyn Manson type of doom dance metal (Empty) and Sabbath like riffs (Small Injection) which might have bode well for the future but their lyrics show their shortcomings which may have been influenced by Korn or Slipknot.  And like other bands trying to go for this sort of sound, it's listenable but it doesn't stand out, they usually come to their senses and go looking for a career job than trying to be the next Korn or Marilyn Manson.  Even the shelf lives of those bands are dated as well. You make better money working at Wal Mart instead.
Commendable job guys but there's a reason why there's 50 Cds of this at the St Vincent De Paul. 
Grade C+ 

Passings:  Pete Overend Watts, bass player for Mott The Hoople, dead from throat cancer.  He was 69.

From Mark Prindle.  He has a bone to pick about Derek And The Dominoes. 

Derek and the Dominos - Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs (40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition) - I like The Yardbirds, Cream and Blind Faith, but this 1970 release is where Eric Clapton lost me forever. I like a few of the songs, but it's mostly just a bunch of boring Southern-fried blues and boogie-rock. The bonus disc has Johnny Cash on it though, along with some songs intended for the second album. I actually like those alright! They sound more tired and heroiny than the first album.

From Jeff Latten (on The Chants-Respectable)

I was part of this band from ~1960 - 1965, on an off. If this was the 1st version on EKO, it's Mike DeVivo on lead, John Linde on drums, me on rhythm guitar, Joe Polari sitting in on lead guitar, probably Bobby Butts on background vocals along with Mike and me and John, and I'm not sure who played bass...might have been Steve Lotto.
Actually, this version we all considered pretty tame and studio sounding. We had done a demo that really popped but was never used. The EKO guys insisted on using their primitive studio. This record won Murray The K's record of the week contest after its release and we got to play live on several of his record hops in the NYC area, including backing up the original Isley Brothers and Ruby and The Romantics. What killed the momentum was MGM bought it up after we won the contest and pulled all the disks with the EKO label out of stores so they could put their own labeled disks in there and so there were very few sales while it was being played daily on WINS in NYC. It got pulled the following week. We thereafter dabbled a bit with Bobby Darin's company, got to work with his head A/R guy Clint somebody, but nothing came of it. Feel free to ask me whatever you'd like...those were some fun days.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Rock and roll and the end days

It's a new day, a new era, a whole new change of scenery.

After 8 years, we say goodbye to Obama.  He may not been the best president ever, he wasn't the worst, but he had the worst Goddamned congress ever, and managed to survive and do some good things along the way.  And some things cannot be explained.  Why the worst Goddamned congress ever, most got reelected.   And then we had the failed reality star deciding to run for POTUS against the hot air that was running for POTUS and the failed reality star beat them all out and then beat out Hilary Clinton on Election Day.   The world was tired of Clintons anyway right?

It is a dark day in history and I never thought I would see the day of such of this, a failed reality star becoming the 45th POTUS, it's in the history books, can't change it now.  It's not the failed reality star that worried me but rather the Republican controlled everything, house, senate so on.  So far, the GOP have undermined things, yes they are getting rid of the ACA or Obamacare and have no replacement plans, except for vouchers and privatization and denying pre existing health issues.  But the ignorant kept blaming the black POTUS, now commenced to history for their ills and turned a blind eye  to the GOP, whose motto is keep telling lies till the public believes it's the truth.   And there's a lotta gullible folk that finally caved in to the GOP telling lies over and over again, believing it's the truth.   Certainly Hilary wasn't the idea choice, the more logical one was Bernie Sanders but the way that the Democrats National Committee treated him, the backlash from Bernie supporters wouldn't join the Hilary bandwagon.  Strange after the loss, we didn't much from Hilary, while Bernie continued to stir up the pot.  Perhaps had Bernie won the Democratic nomination he would be sworn in as 45th President but that's dreaming out loud and living in the parallel world.

So far, looking at his appointees for the Cabinet, I am not impressed at all by the failed reality star and the lack of mid-westerners in favor of Southern men is troubling. And to privatize PBS, get rid of the National Endowment Of The Arts?  This is not exactly making America great.  Now we hear Republican bitching about the rest of the voters, who didn't vote for the failed reality star, to lay back and enjoy it and give him a chance when it's clear that the same folk didn't practice what they preached and rebelled when Obama was president, most likely from Rafeal Theodore Cruz and his turtle face munchkin from Kentucky Hissyfit McConnell obstructed their way throughout these past 8 years, and only came together to help out their rich buddies hoarding money.  But this state isn't much better, granting Emperor Branstad another term and western hack Steve King another term to vote out your ACA.  If any of these hoo ha's should cast a vote for single payer health care they would be remembered a lot more fondly then being bought out by Big Pharma.  Even Cory Booker, sold himself out to Big Pharma in saying no to Canadian meds to the USA.  No wonder the public don't trust nobody in congress anymore.   Eventually they are all bought and paid for by drug hobbyist or Big Oil.

I hope to think that in the next four years, things will get better but I seriously doubt it.  I'm certain big oil will once again raise prices back to 4 dollars a gallon within two years, and while there might be inquiries at tax payers expense of course, the Republican controlled everything will shoot things down.  No, the DNC not only screwed Bernie but screwed everybody in terms of putting Hilary ahead.  And in the meantime everybody is fighting everybody for voting for the failed reality star since he was the only real thing that was a change.    And I'm afraid the change that nobody wants.

I could be wrong.   Let's hope that I'm wrong but I doubt it.  I have no hope for the next four years.  And I will give the failed reality star as much chance as much as the Republicans did for Obama, obstruct at every corner and do shady deals behind the scenes.  It's not the Donald I'm worried about as much as the do nothing GOP, and we knew how well they did back in 2000.  Business as usual for these folks. Or to see if they can start another war.  Will the failed reality star finally break away from the business as usual bullshit in Washington and do something different?  So far the answer will be no.   The only hope is see Jesus come out of the heavens to save all of us and turn this planet into a place where we can all live together in peace.  But we have a better chance of seeing a full blown Beatles reunion taking place before that ever happens.

The end of days.  Day one.

(observation: although I had reservations about Obama at times, I thought he did a fine job considering all the obstruction from the GOP and the usual right leaning media.  Social media has made a note telling people to suck it up, and he's your president now, but at the same time continue to bash the former 44th POTUS from day one.  Already the backlash has begun with violence and protests across the country.  At the same time the new FRS POTUS got in due to the stay at home voters, even if you did not choose you still made a choice in the election. Janis Ian is one of more outspoken folks out there and she's going to take lightly about the thought of Sucking it up.  In fact it made her that much madder and more determined to make her point.)

From Janis Ian

In the past 48 hours I have been told to "get over it" and "suck it up" by more than 100 people on my own page.

Here is my response. I will continue to post as many political comments and memes as I like. I will also continue to post as many free downloads, funny photos, and interesting quotes as I like. Why? Because this is my page.

This is also my country. My grandparents did not watch their families slaughtered by Cossacks and gutted by so-called Russian "patriots", then WALK across Russia and Ukraine, endure unimaginable hardships, and finally arrive at the Statue of Liberty - and then learn a new language, a new way of life, a new way of government - so I could give up the right to dissent.

That is why my family came here. That is why my grandfather bagged groceries and my grandmother ran a boarding house and my other grandmother took in mending. That is why my father went into the service and then to college on the G.I. bill, why my mother took night courses, why everyone and everything in my family was geared toward thinking and questioning and moving forward. So that I, a second-generation American, could, through merit and hard work, become "the American dream".
So here is my answer to those of you who would normalize what is happening around us right now.

Dear James (and Elizabeth, and Harold, and all the rest) -
Thank you for posting. I appreciate your suggesting that I now "let it go" and "suck it up" because "like it or not, he's our president." (Or in the case of all the Australians and New Zealanders chiming in for some reason, "he's your president now.")

All right! Which part would you like me to let go of? Shall I drop the "grab pussy" part? or maybe the "gay people need conversion therapy" part, since Pence said it, not Trump?

How about the Muslim registry, so wonderfully reminiscent of that bright yellow star my forebears had to sew on their coats? Or maybe I should heed Trump's statement "It's cold in New York - we need global warming".

Wait. I can suck it up and try to forget the part where he dodged the draft, then said of John McCain "I like people who weren't captured" Wouldn't that be patriotic?

And as a Jersey girl, I could just "suck up" and "let go" of the part where he said "thousands and thousands of people" in Jersey City were cheering as the World Trade Center buildings fell.
Wait, I know! Let's forget freedom of the press, his veiled threats to allow White House briefing access only to periodicals that agree with him. Suck on that, you liberal swine. Maybe I can also let go of the part where he threatens newspapers with changes in the libel laws, so he can sue them - and I can suck up to the National Enquirer, owned and run by Trump's dear friends.

Wait! My grandparents were always terrified they'd have to prove they had a right to be in America, so even though it was always illegal to require it, they carried their "papers" with them everywhere. Yeah, if there'd been a Jew Registry, they could already have been counted.

How about I about I let go of him saying “An ‘extremely credible source’ has called my office and told me that Barack Obama’s birth certificate is a fraud”? Or when he said Mexico would pay for "the wall", except now we have to front the money?

Or my personal favorite, the part where he promises and promises to release his tax returns if he's elected....

C'mon, James. Which part should I let go of first?

No no no!!! I take it all back! I want to let go of this part, because somehow, I can't un-hear it. I can't un-see it. And I sure as hell can't "suck up to it":

"I did try and fuck her. She was married. I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn’t get there. And she was married. Then all of a sudden I see her, she’s now got the big phony tits and everything. She’s totally changed her look. I’ve gotta use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her. You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything… Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything." Donald J. Trump

Nice. Go after married women. Cheat on your first two wives (at least). Kiss someone who doesn't invite it and consider yourself a "magnet". How presidential.

Yes, folks. I'll "suck it up" and "let it go". When hell freezes over.

You don't like it? Get off my page.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Week In Review: Greg Trooper, Country 45s, Townedger Radio 26

Greg Trooper, an excellent singer songwriter in the style of Chris Knight and Steve Earle passed away Sunday from pancreatic cancer, he was 61.  I found a CD of his in the dollar bins and thought it was a nice album.

Since ditching cable four months ago, I missed out on the propaganda news channels, the reality shows crap, the Big Pharma 5 minute drug spots which 20 seconds of it of asking your doctor to take such and such and four minutes explaining the side effects (8 hour erection, suicidal thoughts, death, etc etc) and the Weather Channel's stupid idea of winter storm names, to which the icemaking, tornado heavy rain system known as Winter Storm Jerkmeoff (Jupiter=Big Storm, no shit sherlock) to which it turned out to be a rain/ice event here.  Cause everybody loves to waste an hour and getting carpel tunnel to scrape the ice shit off your windows here and watching tree limbs snap off and power lines are fun to see.  Snap Crackle Pop y'all.  So here's hoping we can not break our leg trying to get into our car, drive on a ice rink and complete with idiots driving like NASCAR and texting and yacking on cell phones will test your driving skills even on sunny days.

Same as it ever was: Northwestern destroyed Iowa in basketball 89-54 Sunday.  NW is 15-4 this season, a surprise considering nobody has talked about them very much.  They have a better chance of going to the NCAAs this year than the streaky and erratic Hawkeyes who beat Purdue Thursday, avenging their Big Ten Opener loss. NW opened the game with a 8-0 start and never trailed.  Hawks cut it to three but then a 14-1 run and school was out for Iowa.  Next up: Maryland for the IA.

As predicted Dean Spanos has moved the Chargers back to LA, complete with a logo that rip offs the LA Dodgers logo but with a lightning bolt below.  They have a new coach in Anthony Lynn, who was assistant head coach in Buffalo last season and is a former RB for the Denver Broncos and San Francisco 49ers.  After many years of no teams and picking the finest NFL games on TV, Los Angeles finds themselves with two mediocre teams and the Chargers return back to LA since the 1960 years to which they played in front of 80,000 ghosts in the stands.  Since Stub Hub Stadium only has 33,000 seats, it should be no problem to sell out that stadium, unless L.A. resorts back to ghosts filling the stands like the did at the Coliseum years ago.  It's all about the money and Dean Spanos loves money and loves public funding for a new stadium, to which San Diego voted no.  To which a crying Spanos said so long San Diego and hello again Los Angeles. Crocodile tears more or less.  But I donno, the NFL has lost its luster for me the past few years.  I have more fun watching old Cleveland Browns mud bowl highlights of yesteryear than the money grab that's the NFL today and glitzy uniforms and constant Jerry Jones sightings on TV.  To which were was Jerry hiding at when Green Bay got that winning FG beating the Cowboys this week at?  Jerry Jerry Jerry.....

And The Ringling Brothers Circus will be a thing of the past. After 142 years of torturing elephants and lions and amusing audiences around the world, they are shutting it down.

 Kansas - Leftoverture - If you like "Carry On Wayward Son" (I don't), you'll probably like the rest of the album because most of it's that same mix of pompous prog-lite and self-important rock. However, there are also a few playful and intricate instrumental sections that might make you think you're listening to Emerson Lake and Palmer or even a GOOD prog rock band! I really like those parts! As far as Kansas is concerned, the fewer vocals the better. (Reviewed by Mark Prindle) 

Counterpoint:  While classic rock radio keeps Carry On Wayward Sun in regular rotation, I find the rest of the songs are just as fun, Questions Of My Childhood B side to Carry On, was played more times here on my player than the hit single.  Failed followup What's On My Mind should at least get some classic rock loving.  Sure it's pompous, Cheyenne Anthem  and Magus Opus are the examples but I tend to enjoy the Gnat Attack segment that closes the album.  Kansas isn't for everybody, but they managed to balance some pop sensibility and rock hooks to make it their most accessible album so far.  Robert Christgau disagrees using as many ten dollar words as he can.  Make no mistake, Carry On Wayward Son is here to stay on Corporate rock radio.  B+

Before the storm, I needed to go to Davenport to hit the local Big Lots and fill up the shelves with breakfast bars and crackers and managed to hit the Salvation Army Closeout Place for the off and on 45 hunts that seem to obsessed me.   And let's face it, it is hit and miss, although this Salvation Army store does get somewhat of a turnaround of 45s    Goodwill in Bettendorf, somebody bought in a tubful of them but most if not all were scratched up pretty bad and Goodwill insists on putting stickers on the damn record itself.  Since I already submitted a Singles Going Steady blog for this month and since there's no rock records in this batch, I basically decided upon doing a standard blog. Usually, there are pickers out there that will find the rock 45s, buy them and then inflate the price on EBAY or elsewhere, one Goodwill store had regular 45s at 1.88! Buyer beware but usually I'm more interested in off the wall stuff, although it's more country and pop and not exactly rock and roll.   I look at this like a archaeologist digging into the dirt looking for clues of the history of this planet.  I dig in 45 crates revisiting the past that I relate more now than the new music that interests nobody and nobody remembers.  Mock Patti Page all you want but she's a lot more meaningful than Nicki No Talent and Madonna who continues to bare all.  Good for her!  But I'm not about to show her latest shaved photo as a high flying bird salute to the failed reality star now President this Friday.

And putting up the 10 singles this week gets me out of the reviews of the week.  Unless you want my assessment of the only CD I bought in Davenport this weekend, Traffic's On The Road.  Which a so so live effort and a C plus grade.  At least with Derek And The Dominoes In Concert they made their 14 minute songs rock better, than the 10 and half minute Sometimes I Feel So Uninspired, to which Steve Winwood does sound bored to death.  Plus we have Townedger Radio 26 playlist as well too. That should fulfill my commitments this week.

The Davenport Country Singles And Off The Wall Stuff

1)    Born To Be Alive-Patrick Hernandez (Columbia 3-10986)  #16 1979

The only non country song and it had to be disco???  Now this has good memories of the late DJ at Skate Country, going ALL SKATE to the disco beat of this song which may have influenced the now deceased lead singer of Dead Or Alive.  But Pat Hernandez was a one trick pony and a one hit wonder.  This song was part of the soundtrack to the movie Skatetown USA (why hasn't anybody reissued this on CD yet??? Answer: Licensing hassles ) and was perfect for skating around in a circle better than on the disco floor.  I think in this day and age I'd rather have the disco upbeats more than the computer autotuned quack tracks. Dave Mason composed a few tracks including a discofied Feeling Alright.  Columbia did afford a few dollars for Hernandez to come up with a few more remakes of Born To Be Alive on same titled album but it quickly went to the cut outs.  I managed to jump in the Skating craze in the early 80s usually boring the hell out of girls who had the misfortune of pairing up with me on couples skate.  I think they were good times.

2)    Dear Lonely Hearts-Nat King Cole (Capitol 4870)  #13  1962

His followup to the number 2 chart showing of Ramblin' Rose had Nat going into a R and B crooner type of music rather than the MOR pop and somewhere along the lines of Brook Benton, a thought that was confirmed on the B side Who's Next In Line, co written by Clyde Otis who penned a few hits for Benton.   But there's a country tinged arrangement on Dear Lonely Hearts, complete with sappy background singers to boot. This sort of arrangement would help Dean Martin on his 60s hits (Everybody Loves Somebody, etc).  Cole was on the decline due to surf music and rock and roll but once in a while he would make a top 20 showing such as Dear Lonely Hearts.  He would have two more top 20 singles before his untimely passing in 1965 (he was only 46 when he passed).

3)    A Little Bitty Tear-Burl Ives (Decca 31330)   #9  1961

A folk singer by trade as well as an actor, Burl decided to try his hand at country music and for his effort this was his highest charting single written by Hank Cochran.  It sounds like this was recorded at Bradley Barn with Owen Bradley overseeing the whole sessions. B side was Shanghied, co written by Mel Tillis and was also a b side to I Ain't Never by Webb Pierce.  Ives would have couple more top 20 singles but usually you will hear his Holly Jolly Christmas song more than you will of Little Bitty Tear.  Fun fact:  This 45 sold for 19 cents at either a Ben Franklin or Gambles store way back when.  Still has the sticker on the label.

4)    Losing You-Brenda Lee (Decca 31478)   #6  1963
        He's So Heavenly #73

Brenda Lee recorded many many singles for Decca and most of the 45s found are have played to death.  In my first batch of 45s ever known I'm Sorry and All Alone Am I were in my mom's collection.  While the number 6 position I don't think I ever heard this song at all on the radio but upon hearing this, it feels like Brenda's heart is being ripped out in front of your eyes (and ears) and is quite depressing.  One of the most ultimate teenage heartbreak songs ever recorded.  He's So Heavenly is a bit more uptempo but not as memorable.

5)    It Started Again-Wilma Lee And Stoney Cooper (Decca 31891)  1965

Wilma and Stoney were one of the finest bluegrass duos around, making some great music via Mercury and Hickory before opting for a traditional country sound and going with a cover of a Don Gibson song, which was the reason why I bought this in the first place.  Even upon stacks of donated country 45s I have never stumbled upon anything The Coopers have till I found this song.  Even in 1965 Wilma Lee might have been too country sounding for country radio.

6)    I Just Destroyed The World (I'm Living In)-Ray Price (Columbia 4-42310) #16 Country 1962

The beginning of a long and fruitful relationship with Willie Nelson, but still done in the hard honky tonk style of Heartaches By The Number.  B side Big Shoes (Written by Justin Tubb) is more of the same honky tonk song that Price was famous for.  He had not yet discovered Danny Boy.  Nevertheless I consider his 1956-1962 era to be his classic period.

7)    The Boys' Night Out-Patti Page (Mercury 72013)  #49  1962

Patti's final Mercury single and it shows somewhat of a country move.  She got paired up with Shelby Singleton and Jerry Kennedy and while this showed a respectable chart showing it does sound toss together.  B Side Three Fools would have been the better side, since it's more country flavored and Patti shows a bit more interest in this.  Side note: Three Fools was written by Charles Singleton who helped on some of Lesley Gore's songs and also by Horace Ott who would later score arrangements for the likes of The Animals, Leon Thomas Blues Band and even The Village People.  Patti Page would move on to Columbia Records and a return to MOR Pop.

8)   Good Day Sunshine-Peggy Little And Tommy Overstreet  (Dot 17350)  1970

She recorded for Dot in the 1970s with meddling success (best known song a version of Son Of A Preacher Man hit #40) and paired up with Tommy on a countrified version of the Beatles song.  It's not very good but you have to wait it out for the line that when Tommy sings she feels good and she replies yes I am.  Which puts my mind in the gutter.  Tommy had much better success with his songs through Dot up till 1978 and moved over to Elektra.  Peggy basically retired from music around 1975 and hasn't been heard from since.

9)   Sorrow On The Rocks-Porter Wagoner (RCA 47-8338)  #5  Country 1964

In terms of the honky tonk country, Porter ranks high up there with Ray Price, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, Webb Piece, Faron Young, Buck Owens although I do think his songs tend to be a bit more darker and moodier and not quite P.C. who else can explain about Cold Dark Waters being about suicide and The Cold Hard Facts Of Life about murdering a cheating spouse.  Certainly Porter pushed the envelope but he can find a decent barroom classic song about drinking your problems away.   In my search for forgotten 45s, Porter's singles I have tried to find, most have been chewed up (Woman Hungry which might have been one of his lesser songs, or Katy Did which is even less and Real Gone didn't see the need to include it in the 2 CD collection) but for a juke box copy this does play fairly well.  B side Life Of The Party has been included on the RCA Collection when Buddha was started up just to issue RCA artists that people forgotten about and is on the Real Gone best of too.

10)  Tears Will Be The Chaser For Your Wine-Wanda Jackson (Capitol 5789) #11 Country 1966

Like Jerry Lee Lewis, Wanda started out as a pure rock and roller before rock and roll turned their attention to somewhere else and both had better luck on the country charts.  Jerry Lee had better chart success I gather.  This number 11 honky tonk ballad is Wanda's highest charting country single. Maybe in future Singles Going Steady segments I will keep a eye on more of Wanda's country sides but she has return back to her rock and roll roots with a 2011 album with Jack White which wasn't that bad and a less glitzy followup.  May she continue to rock as she approaches 80 this year.

Townedger Radio Broadcast Number 26 Playlist (via Lucky Star Radio)

Fox On The Run-The Wapsipinicon Dreamers (The Townedgers incognito)
Fox On The Run-Tom T Hall
Fly Away Home-Ozark Mountain Daredevils
If I Was A Carpenter-Bob Seger
Spanish Harlem Incident-Bob Dylan
Oh Death-Camper Van Beethoven
Splendid Isolation-Warren Zevon
A Stranger To Himself-Fairport Convention
U Can't Touch This-M C Hammer
Diddy Wa Diddy-Captain Beefheart
Baby Wanna Dance-The Townedgers
My Babe-Little Walter
Solitary Man-Neil Diamond
I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better-The Byrds
Cryin, Waitin' Hopin'-Steve Earle and Marty Stuart
Dead Flowers-New Riders Of The Purple Sage (MCA version from 1976)
Let Your Love Flow-Bellamy Brothers
South Side Of The Sky-Swinging Steaks.  

Saturday, January 14, 2017

10 Best Shoegazer Albums (From NME)

It's arguable of some of these albums listed upon here.  But I look at this with suspicion.
In the early 1990s, the UK brought us something with lots of feedback laden guitar and softspoken vocals, usually from the female side of things.  But I don't think the New Music Express did a throughout  job in compiling this ten best of.  First of all, they give too much credit to Slowdive, which I heard two albums and got bored to death with.

Here's what NME went with.

  1. Slowdive – ‘Just For A Day’ (1991)

It sounds crazy now, but in 1991 you’d have been laughed out of any student bar in the country for liking Slowdive. ‘Just For A Day’ was considered the epitome of drippy, empty, anaemic home counties mithering, made specifically for bedwetters, virgins and vegans who were too scared to be goths. Now, twenty-five years after it made Richey Manic declare that he hated Slowdive more than Hitler, its recognised as the slab of ghost-ridden gorgeousness it always was. Taking cues as much from The Cure and The Cocteau Twins as much as contemporaries like Chapterhouse and Ride, it merged glacial indie atmospherics with Celtic mysticism, canyon balladry and opiated melodies like ‘The Sadman’. Perfect for sinking sweetly into an overdose.

  1. The Verve – ‘A Storm In Heaven’ (1993)

Back when ‘Urban Hymns’ was merely their accountant’s wildest fantasy, Richard Ashcroft piloted a space rock behemoth called simply ‘Verve’ and ‘A Strom In Heaven’ was their impression of a brimstone blues wrecking ball demolishing the sonic cathedral. Rather than spectral sonic echoes, this was music caught in intergalactic winds, roaring through wormholes and battering at God’s windows. If shoegaze ever looked up, ripped open its shirt and howled into approaching traffic, it was here.

  1. The Radio Dept. – ‘Lesser Matters’ (2003)

With nods to Nothing, A Place To Bury Strangers, early M83, Deerhunter, Blond Redhead and Cheatahs, the nu-gaze revival deserves its own separate list. But arguably the record that kicked (or should that be ‘shuffled’?) the revival off, ‘Lesser Matters’ – the debut from Swedish fuzz fondlers The Radio Dept. – remains one of the few next-gen shoegaze records capable of holding its own amongst the lexicon of wobbly greats. Swapping copious scree pedals for touches of electronica, it remapped shoegazing’s sonic otherworld for the 21st Century by sounding like the sort of electro gig that, previously, only Derek Acorah could hear.

  1. The Boo Radleys – ‘Everything’s Alright Forever’ (1992)

The Boo Radleys’ acknowledged masterpiece – 1993’s ‘Giant Steps’, containing the decade-demolishing ‘Lazarus’ – was too much of a shift towards their mid-90s psych-pop incarnation to be allowed to do its dubby skank along shoegaze’s top table. That record belongs in Albums Of The Decade lists, whereas their previous record ‘Everything’s Alright Forever’ was perfectly placed to encapsulate the full shoegaze vista, from the fouled beauty of ‘Loveless’ to the oceanic swells of ‘Nowhere’ and the scorched grunge of early Teenage Fanclub. Plus, Martin Carr’s blood pumped with the Merseyside gene, so ‘Everything’s Alright Forever’ swarmed with the sort of half-buried pop melodies that many shoegaze bands lost in the gaps between their effects pedals.

  1. Ride – ‘Going Blank Again’ (1992)

As if Ride heard ‘Loveless’ and knew the game was up in terms of screwing around with the possibilities of guitar, then watched Newman And Baddiel mock them as dozy dullards on The Mary Whitehouse Experience and realised they needed to be less wet and wafty, for their second album scene pioneers Ride simply turned the volume up to ‘Gas Giant’ and set about writing some of the most gargantuan funk, rock and pop tunes of the 90s. ‘Twistarella’ – their own ‘Friday I’m In Love’ – and ‘Leave Them All Behind’ propelled shoegazing into a grander melodic sphere, while ‘OX4’ was reportedly classified as a planet in its own right by NASA, until the drugs wore off.

  1. Ride – ‘Nowhere’ (1990)

Ride’s debut, of course, set the shoe blueprint: warping squalls of guitar, post-baggy psychedelia and blank vocal harmonies muffled by fringe. From the frenetic opening ‘Seagull’, akin to an utterly emotionless ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’, ‘Nowhere’ expanded into hitherto uncharted oceans of sound, such as when ‘Polar Bear’ reimagines Bowie’s ‘”Heroes”’ as an ever-looping acid trip about flying girlfriends. Startling on first release, the vitality to ‘Nowhere’ transcends the shoegaze cliché to this day.

  1. My Bloody Valentine – ‘Isn’t Anything’ (1988)

If ‘Nowhere’ was the shoegaze blueprint, ‘Isn’t Anything’ was its Big Bang. Crushing the core influences of The Jesus & Mary Chain, The Cure, The Cocteau Twins, Sonic Youth, Spacemen 3, The Velvet Underground and Wire into a white hot ball of weird, Kevin Shields fused a new form of musical plasma that splattered messily across My Bloody Valentine’s full-length debut in its unrefined form. Tenderised, elastic guitar notes bent around gloriously awkward pop tunes prone to bouts of sudden manic punk thrashing and twisting-in-bedsheets narcolepsy. It was the 80s indie version of Picasso chucking his entire palette against the wall and going “copy that”.

  1. Slowdive – ‘Souvlaki’ (1993)

The 21st Century rehabilitation of Slowdive’s reputation is largely down to the lingering echoes from their second album ‘Souvlaki’. Criminally ridiculed in 1993 amid the Britpop fanfare, for over twenty years it hung around like a rather lovely smell until today it’s seen as the defining statement of this self-celebratory scene thanks to Neil Halstead’s desolate lyrics – he’d recently split from singer Rachel Goswell – and lustrous tunes like ‘Machine Gun’ sounding less lost in the (p)haze. Sessions with Brian Eno also inspired songwriter Halstead to discover dub, ambient and Aphex Twin albums, helping him do the impossible – give mist an edge.

  1. Spiritualized – ‘Lazer Guided Melodies’ (1992)

As a root influence on the movement with Spacemen 3, Jason Pierce was surfing the solar winds long before shoegazing came along. So his first album with Spiritualized, while only distantly connected to the scene, showed all of these home counties wannabes how to study their sneakers in style. Narcotic dream-pop and intergalactic rock drifted across this double disc like celestial bodies waltzing. If Kubrick rocked…

  1. My Bloody Valentine – ‘Loveless’ (1991)

The daddy. While everyone else had their head down trying to fathom out the monstrous sounds MBV had gifted them, Kevin Shields was busy making them all redundant. Okay, so it took him three years, an army of engineers, 19 studios, most of Alan McGee’s bank account and enough weed to kill a Kraken, but he emerged with a record of such inventive, heart-twisting beauty and violence that it remains unmatched in experimental guitar music to this day. Sampled feedback, bending chords, melodies like sunbursts, tectonic shifts, tsunamis and apocalypses; the revelation of ‘Loveless’ was that it’s beauty came from sounding how music simply shouldn’t – this writer recalls playing it to a couple of record producers who both lay on the floor hyperventilating when they realised my stereo wasn’t broken. ‘Loveless’ may have killed off shoegaze, but it’s also the reason it’s alive today.
Now that you read this far. I tend to disagree with the Souviaki, the snooze fest  and anything Spiritzalized as well.   Crabby's Picks of Top Shoegazer albums are (in particular order since numbering them 1 to 10 is pointless and my taste changes every time out.

The Catherine Wheel-Ferment (Fontana 1992)

Before they deteriorated into alternative pop metal, Rob Dickinson managed to configure the wall of noise into something listenable and Black Metallic remains the best overall shoegazer song, with gobs of echo, gobs of Husker Du like guitar buzz and Dickinson's vocals buried in the background.  Catherine Wheel might have had better selling albums but Ferment remains their best overall.  And that's not going to ever change since they broken up after the flop Wishville album.

The Jesus And Mary Chain-Darklands (Warner Brothers 1987)
The Jesus And Mary Chain-Psychocandy (Warner Music UK 1985)

Psychocandy might have been critically acclaimed better but the solemn and subdued second album was easier on the ears. 

Lush-Gala (4AD 1990)
Their albums were spotty even on good days but this record compiles their 3 EPs into one nifty overview, with two versions of Thought Patterns included.  Lush never seemed to get the credit due to them unlike the Choctau Twins.

My Bloody Valentine-Loveless (Creation/Sire 1991)
My Bloody Valentine Isn't Anything (Relativity 1988) 
Given a choice between Isn't Everything or Loveless, I chose the latter of the album closer Soon, which is pretty hypnotic before Kevin Sheild's feedback laden guitar rips into place.  Loveless didn't kill Shoegaze according to rumor, Nevermind and grunge did and not for the better.

Ride-Going Blank Again (Creation/Sire 1992)
Ride-Smile (Creation/Sire 1991)
Ride-Nowhere (Creation/Sire 1990)
Like Lush, Ride had an album compiled of EPs and B sides (Smile) which is worth seeking out and Nowhere is a fun "ride" so to speak, but Going Blank Again starts out with the 8 Minute Leave them All Behind and then Twisterilla, which managed to sneak into the Power Pop Hits of the 1990s on Rhino.  Kids in the midwest didn't buy this, I got mine as a cutout for 3.88 when Camelot was in town and in the mall.  Certainly MBV Loveless might have been an influence but there's also a Hawkwind sound too.  Ride lost focus on the next album and 1996's Tarantula was more classic rock than shoe gaze and I still like 20 years after the fact.  The boys have reunited, like Lush and have a new album in the can.

Blur-Leisure (Food 1991)
Before they became UK working class stiffs with Park Life and then Pavement indee rockers with the self titled album, Leisure found them playing around the showgaze sound with songs like There's No Other Way  and She's So High.  Blur has disowned this album but I still like their shoegazed songs better than the Pavement influenced Song 2 (not that it's bad, it's quite good but it's the only song radio plays if they do play Blur)

The Dylans (Beggars Banquet 1992)
The Charlatans UK-Some Friendly (Beggars Banquet 1991)
The Darkside-All That Noise (Beggars Banquet 1991)

Between their label mates The Charlatans UK, The Dylans had more of a hypnotic vibe vocalwise, The Charlatans were looking to be the new Rolling Stones which they eventually achieved after the death of Rob Collins their keyboardist. The Charlatans also had a hit with The Only One That I Know, complete with them lifting Jon Lord's keyboard work on Hush.  The Dylans had a minor hit with the catchy Godlike.  The knock was that perhaps The Dylans were  a bit too much in the Madchester sound but to these ears their first album was a nice shoegazer mini classic. Followup album flopped and they were no more.  As for The Darkside, All That Noise is really a half assed affair, some good moments, but a lot of the songs are toss off efforts. Melomania released a year later is better including the 9 minute Rise which might be their high point.
Blind Mr. Jones-Stereo Musicale (Cherry Red 1994)
By the time this album came out, Shoegazer music was passe, but give Blind Mr Jones credit for issuing this album 2 years after the fact, but I have no idea who this band was till I found their album in the cutouts for a dollar in 2013.  Herb Cohen issued this via Bizarre/Planet in 1994.  Out of all the shoegazer bands mentioned, Blind MR. Jones has more in common with Hawkwind than MBV or Jesus And Mary Chain.  But nobody knew much about BMJ even in 1994, they also seem to teeter on being a jam band of sorts.  

Curve-Doppelganger (Charisma/Anxious 1992)
Curve-Pubic Fruit (Charisma/Anxious 1992)
Curve-Cuckoo (Charisma/Anxious 1993)

They blurred between MBV and Lush but with a more noiser approach.  Toni Holliday and Dean Garcia were the main folks behind this band and while New Musical Express have basically ignored Curve's album in favor of Slowdive and The Verve but Doppelganger is a shoegazer classic album all its own with Fait Accompli being the main hit.  I tend to think NME missed the boat especially on the Pubic Fruit album which complies the first three Curve EPs plus Fait Accompli.  Like Lush's Gala, Public Fruit shows Curve's EPs to be just as entertaining.

Ned's Atomic Dustbin-Godfodder (Columbia 1991)

If nothing else, Gray Cell Green has a somewhat catchy bass and drum hook, but it's considered fruitless to call them shoegazer, they play too fast and have two bass players in their band but God Fodder remains a good if dated listen.  Later albums were attempts at Modern rock, with mixed results.

So as you can see there's a bit of difference of what I think works for Shoegazer albums and the NME although your opinion will vary.  But at this point and time, nobody really listens to Shoegazer music all that much.  But I still have all these albums around somewhere and do play them from time to time.  If and when I come across any more Slowdive albums or the Verve album in question I'll take the time to listen and comment when I do get around finding them.  But I tend to think they're a bit overrated, as well as the Boo Radley's (I reviewed Cmon Kids and Giant Steps years ago but didn't think much of them).  But I'm sure we'll pick up on this subject in the near future to consider if I was right or wrong on calling these bands overrated.  For now, my opinion remains unchanged.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Week In Review: Tommy Allsup, Blogger Spam Comments

What it comes that I really have not much interest in new music news anymore and the fact is that I don't know half the bands that NME or Rolling Stone writes about or senseless stuff on how if Ronnie James Dio was still alive, Richie Blackmore would have not had him in the recent Rainbow concerts of last year.

I do put out local interest stuff on sports or about the Iowa Hawkeyes replacing the retired Greg Davis for Brian Farenez to run the offense   Which means Iowa will continue to run first with their running backs, the hope is that they can get blockers that can protect the QB.  Even winning some award for best blockers (which was bullshit if anybody watched the Outback Bowl fiasco) didn't stop them from yelling OLE while the opposition D was introducing themselves up close and personal to CJ Bethard or LeShan Daniels when they needed to provide some blocking to earn this made up award.  Expect Iowa to continue to trip over themselves in the major bowls.   If I think eye candy is needed I'll find something to bring in more readers.

(photo: Julie Gordon-Acousta Kitties Acousta Jam 1/10/17)

The good news is that another jam session has been brought up.  While Karl Hudson had to put his Rumor's Acoustic Jam on hold, Bart Carfizzi and Joe Hutchcroft will host something called the Pizza Jam, which will be on Thursday's Night at the Silver Star Saloon off Edgewood Road in Cedar Rapids.  Since I am still employed, I won't be able to partake in the fun and games.

And it's been 1 year ago that David Bowie passed away. He would have been 70 had he lived.  Elvis would have been 82.  We all get old and when the folks we grew up listening to passed away, we still listen to their music. Still, there is good music going on, but you don't and won't hear it on the radio.  Go see a live band and support their efforts.  They won't get rich but they might make a few dollars off playing a guitar or drumset or sing.  Or all of the above.

Tommy Allsup passed away Wednesday, he was 85.  Basically the story has been told many times about the "coin toss" that spared his life when he called the wrong side and either A) JP Richardson or B) Richie Valens  got on the plane, winning but losing as they say.  But for 58 years Allsup would make time to come up to the Surf Ballroom to participate in the local Winter Dance Party that has been held on the first week in February.  Most of the original artists are now gone with the exception of Dion.  Allsup also produced Asleep At The Wheel in the 1970s and was slated to come back up to the Surf this year.  Instead he will join the band in the great beyond.

While I'm doing good in viewership, I'll think of something up and risk more carpel tunnel.

The problem I have been having of late is Blogger spam  in the comments section and usually I delete the fucking mess anyway.  But today, let me show you what sort of nonsense that floods my inbox, usually from the archives that have nothing to do with music.

 There's a chance you're qualified to receive a Apple iPhone 7  (Good Riddence 2014)
(probably the one that blows up in your face due to battery problems-next!)

 From my experience the ultimate Bitcoin exchange company is YoBit. (What does this have to do with The  Gunfight at the OK Lounge?  Allan Reed would like to know too)

Are you paying over $5 for each pack of cigarettes? I'm buying my cigarettes over at Duty Free Depot and this saves me over 60% from cigarettes. (I guess that would work on the Sell Outs Blog but does Duty Free Depot sell CDs and LPs?, but I don't pay for anything that is cigarettes, I don't smoke)

Looking for the Ultimate Dating Website? Join and find your perfect date, Create a account and find your perfect date, match, blowjob etc (from TE Radio Blue Scratch Blog)  Spammer liked that blog so much he decided to repeat himself four times.

Coke Or Pepsi? (Various sites)  Faygo!

I don't much comments outside of Tad once in a while and he's more worthy of discussion, than the Blogger Spammer Toolbit that he thinks spamming worthless crap and click bait sites is that I'm going to approve this internet spam toe jam. Is there a payoff if I do, if so I expect a check in the mail that will cover the costs of this site that has now averaged over 100 readership for the past 31 days.  Usually I'll accept Jacksons, Grants and Franklin over Bitcoin any old day, but I come to find out that Spotify checks aren't even worth wiping your ass with, since you can't cash a .00000593 check for a couple plays of my songs.   Still, I expect that the 100 views every day will drop back to the usual 40 or 50 reads a day and the usual hope of breaking the internet Mendoza Line of 2,000 views at the end of month. I will have that beat this month but next month beyond I doubt that I will.  I'm too eccentric for the Bob Lefsetz crowd.   But here's hoping that there will be some sort of comments worth posting up, instead of the usual bullshit that keeps getting dumped to the spam file.   Not that Blogspot will care that much but I do.

Your monthly eye candy of the month, but I really would love to check out that record collection that she has in the background. 

Reviews: (courtesy of Mark Prindle)

Nazareth - The Newz - Granddad rock. The problem with being an obsessive completist is that you end up convincing yourself that 21st-century Nazareth albums are somehow worth buying -- even though not even the majority of their 20th-century ones were. Do yourself a favor and buy "Hair of the Dog," "Razamanaz" and "Loud 'n' Proud." Those are all very strong hard rock albums. The rest of their discography is so hit and miss, it's ridiculous. And this one is mostly generic blues rock,Tuff rock and ballads played and sung by really old people (and the bassist's son). It has a couple of uptempo rockers that recall the old days, and the guitarist tries to play something interesting in a couple songs near the end, but that's about it. Look, in all honesty, I enjoy 5 of these songs. But you won't, believe me. I didn't need to buy it, and you CERTAINLY don't! (Unless you're a collector of "Old People Complaining About the Internet" songs, because "Loggin' On" is one of those wonderful rare beasts!)

Nazareth - Big Dogz - Why did I buy a 2011 Nazareth album called "Big Dogz"!? Nobody needs this; the band members themselves don't even need this. I'm dumb enough to convince myself I like a few songs, but this is mostly just embarrassing garbage by the oldest people in the history of the world. Check out these lyrics: "Big government/Look at these clowns/Screwing around/Big Government/Dragging us down/I don't wanna drown -- Somebody get me a lifeboat/Because you're not getting my vote/Somebody get me a life coach/'Cos you're starting to encroach." You know what? I like Nazareth. They're not any good at all, but I like them. But even I have managed to resist purchasing their 2014 release, "Rock 'N' Roll Telephone" (a title that, if isn't an AC/DC parody, SHOULD be!).

 Ant-Bee - Pure Electric Honey - Retro-psychedelic/experimental music, slathered in reverb and full of druggy sleepy vibes like '60s Pink Floyd. Not bad, but there have been a lot of bands doing stuff like this over the past decade for some reason. The whole 'pump up the reverb' thing. It's the autotune of indie rock.

Antipop Consortium – Fluorescent Black - Highly regarded NYC hip-hop. Lots of electronic melodies and noises in the beats, some of which are very cool! The guys' voices are pretty bland unfortunately, but they do some pretty clever things with rhythms (speeding up, slowing down, chopping things up). Overall, I'd say these guys are very good at what they do. I wish their voices were more interesting, but if you're a hip-hop fan and have not heard this album, please check it out. And now my son keeps singing "I was born electric" and asking "Dad, why was that guy born electric?"

Aphex Twin - Drukqs - Two CDs worth of somber piano instrumentals, gamelans, ambience and electronic beats. Not unpleasant, but certainly not anything I ever need to hear again.

Thin Lizzy - At the BBC - This six-disc box set has a bunch of repeated tracks (different performances of the same songs), but the songs themselves are really good. The most enjoyable part for me was disc 5, a fantastic late-period live show with a great set list.

A Tribe Called Quest – We Got It from Here… Thank You 4 Your Service - The highly regarded comeback album. It's fine, but I don't understand why everybody's going apeshit about it. Its best tracks are truly great, but it's as inconsistent and occasionally boring as every other Tribe album (except the superlative "Midnight Marauders"). I appreciate the Can, Gentle Giant and Black Sabbath samples though.

Rod's Reviews:

John Lee Hooker-If You Miss Em, I got Em (ABC Bluesway 1970)

The late great Johnny Lee's Endless Boogie period.  ABC Records did pair him up with some legends (Endless Boogie featured Steve Miller) and on this forgotten effort, Earl Hooker (no relation) is host but out of all the boogie blues albums, this one is one of more boring efforts.  Like most efforts, this is John Lee and Earl jamming to some songs and Ed Michel rolled tape.  Best known song Lonesome Blues is where John Lee shouts out to the guys to get with the feeling.  Bang Bang Bang Bang is Boom Boom Variation 243.  Baby Be Strong is I Don't Wanna Go To Vietnam Part 6.  Problem is John Lee Hooker has never been interesting to me on the long drawn out blues excursions such as I Wanna Be Your Puppy Baby, to which Earl wakes up from his nap to do a couple of doggie sounds on his wah wah pedal and the even longer Have Mercy On My Soul! To which the nodding listener   eventually falls asleep if he hasn't already.
Grade C

Teegarden And Van Winkle-But Anyhow (Atco 1969)
(I hate this GD keyboard).... Best known for their 1970 minor hit God Love Rock And Roll this duo made two albums for Atco and Wounded Bird reissued them. Somewhat in the way that Lee Michaels recorded his albums with Frosty on drums, it's organ and drums and it's not bad if you like this sort of stuff.  They turn Jimmy McGiff's I Got A Woman inside out, speeds up Season Of The Witch, slows down Annie Had A Baby and throws a couple of originals in a blues rock mode. David Teegarden has always been a underrated drummer, adding a more jazzier style which fits the songs. Both these guys would have help in the making of Bob Seger's Smoking OPs  around 1972, but even as their own band, they do provide a nice sound of their own.
Grade B+

The Very Best Of Jethro Tull (Chrysalis/Capitol 2001)

30 plus years of Tull and we continue to get upgrade and make overs but I still think the 2 CD 1991 Best Of Jethro Tull covered the rise and fall of Ian Anderson and company.  M.U. the original best of showcases the classic rock songs that made Tull famous.  But then again, I found this for a 1.88 at Goodwill and thought it was worth a look.  EMI at that time, cherry picked the songs and while some got left off (but can be found on other best ofs) this is a okay overview of the Chrysalis years beginning with A Song For Jeffrey from the Mick Abrahams This Was album to the title track of Roots And Branches, the 1995 underachieving album, maybe time has treated that record better then when I heard it 22 years ago.  My problem is that, I enjoyed the early Tull albums up to War Child, then it was a long and lazy period of albums that simply lost my interest till they made their heavy metal award winning album Crest Of A Knave  a farce award upon itself, but by then Anderson stole enough former Fairport Convention members to make Crest a more rock album in the style of Fairport, but EMI didn't had much use for followups Rock Island and Catfish Rising.  Even Ian Anderson who wrote the liner notes kinda shrugs off the whole thing and mentions that there might be more inclusions and deletions on future albums but he won't make you buy them all over again, not yet anyway.  But the liner notes are worth reading if you have a 1.88 laying around  and seeing  a like new copy at your old Goodwill.  You might get your money back on a even trade at the local thrift store too.
Grade B

Genesis-Foxtrot (The Famous  Charisma Label/Atlantic 1972)

I guess I'll never warm up to the Peter Gabriel era, although I tried listening to the Genesis Live, didn't care much for it, Selling England By The Pound probably the best but didn't care much for it either, nor the overblown Lamb Lies Down On Broadway which I hated right off the bat since Mike Davenport made me listen to the whole 2 CD set years ago.  Foxtrot is right up there with Selling England By The Pound as the most listenable Genesis albums but in all fairness the stuffiness of Gabriel's vocals tends to make me not care much for this sort of British Prog rock although there's bits and pieces of songs like Watcher Of The Skies and Get Em Out By Friday which does flirt at some sort of melody.  Fans tend to enjoy the 23 minute Supper's Ready side 2 which ends on a pompous fadeout.  Certainly it is worth hearing once to wonder what the fuss was all about. You'll either embrace it or run away from it. The way British Progressive Rock usually is.
Grade B-

The Raspberries-Live On Sunset Strip 2005 (Rykodisc 2007)

There's a expanded edition that has the whole show in hand but in all fairness I never seen the 14 song live CD till I found a BMG club version for 2 dollars and for latter day reunions, this actually does work very well.  Eric Carmen and the boys really showed a love of detail on the early 70s versions of these songs and they do rock out and rock hard.  A shame The Raspberries didn't put a bigger dent in 70s power pop, they were quite good at it.  And still worth hearing 40 years after the fact.
Grade B+

Ian Anderson-Walk Into Light (Chrysalis 1984)

Techno Tull?  In a way it is but it is Ian kinda moving into 1980s technology even if recording tends to be a bit brittle and icy.  Some moments are worth hearing again (Trains, User Friendly) and I think Different Germany would have worked better had Martin Barre and the Tull boys helped out.  Overall, it's in the same league as Under Wraps, but Walk Into Light is slightly better.
Grade C+

Album from my youth: Neil Diamond Gold (K Tel 1977)

20 Greatest Hits it was advertised, but in essence all the songs were from his Bang years, my favorite era of Neil's music since I grew up listening to the likes of I Got The Feelin (oh no no), Solitary Man, You Get To Me, Do It and many others.  At the same time in the cut outs you could find Double Gold which was the 2 LP set of Bang material with a extra song.  Credit must be given to Jeff Berry and especially Ellie Greenwich who both produced and sang backup and made the songs that much better. While K Tel was constantly bashed for their stop gap greatest hits packages, it must be noted that K Tel did find some classic cuts to go with the Osmonds One Bad Apple or The Candy Man from Sammy D Jr. (Flash Small Beginnings and April Wine's You Could Have Been a Lady was on 22 Explosive Hits.  Back then licensing songs were much less hassle than they are today thanks to the three major label Mafias out there.  At that time Bang Records continue to reissue Neil Diamond's songs (he only recorded two proper albums among the 7 albums issued from that label).  While I tend to think Red Red Wine would show a peak into the later years and not one of my favorite numbers, I enjoy the lesser known I'll Come Running or Love To Love more.  By now, the K Tel album is a thing of the past and I still have my copy but Double Gold would be replaced by The Bang Years, which is just as essential in my collection along with Sgt Pepper or Forever Changes.  Neil would eventually go over the top with bombastic live performances and schmaltzy pop ballads later on, but the Bang Years showed that his simplicity worked much better.
Grade A-

and thought from the spammer blogger.
I have just downloaded iStripper, and now I enjoy having the sexiest virtual strippers on my desktop...

Well you better get back to them and leave the rock stories and comments to us then.  That may explain why your right hand is bigger than your left.  Good Day.